Keeping cool

  • Thread starter wolram
  • Start date
  • #1
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557

Main Question or Discussion Point

So how do you stop yourself exploding when stress levels are at the max.
Like if the production of a factory depends on you alone to problem solve
four or five critical failures all at once.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
Been there.

I realized one day that I will either learn to take things in stride, or I will die of a heart attack or stroke. The realization alone pretty much solved the problem. There is only so much that one person can do.
 
  • #3
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
Ivan Seeking said:
Been there.

I realized one day that I will either learn to take things in stride, or I will die of a heart attack or stroke. The realization alone pretty much solved the problem. There is only so much that one person can do.
Ivan, do you count to 10 or something, or ignore the shouts from above?
 
  • #4
1,134
9
I look at it like a triage doctor.
First remain calm, understand that no matter how many procedures are in front of you, you can only address one at a time.
Assess the critical, one at a time.
Place in order of need.{1.2.3}
Repair major failures in order of survival
Go back and fine tune repairs.
and yes, ignore the shouts from above.

Make sure take your breaks{lunch}and involve a change of scenery with them. Eat more protein, and less carbs/sugars on a stressful day.
When you get home, do something you find relaxing. If you find yourself still thinking about work, write down your train of thought, then go for a brisk walk.
 
  • #5
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,825
2,054
hypatia said:
Make sure take your breaks{lunch}and involve a change of scenery with them. Eat more protein, and less carbs/sugars on a stressful day.

When you get home, do something you find relaxing. If you find yourself still thinking about work, write down your train of thought, then go for a brisk walk.
Ditto to what Ivan and hypatia mentioned.

Sometimes, I just have to step away from it and take a walk.

At home, I do something relaxing like gardening. Actually, I try not take the stress home - but sometimes it happens. For me, hacking away at hard ground or rock helps. In the past intense activities like Tae Kwon Do did the trick.

Then there is just plain meditation - let go - empty the mind.
 
  • #6
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
hypatia said:
I look at it like a triage doctor.
First remain calm, understand that no matter how many procedures are in front of you, you can only address one at a time.
Assess the critical, one at a time.
Place in order of need.{1.2.3}
Repair major failures in order of survival
Go back and fine tune repairs.
and yes, ignore the shouts from above.

Make sure take your breaks{lunch}and involve a change of scenery with them. Eat more protein, and less carbs/sugars on a stressful day.
When you get home, do something you find relaxing. If you find yourself still thinking about work, write down your train of thought, then go for a brisk walk.
Good advice, but when 1,2,3 etc are all equally important,and opperators
get sent home, if things are looking bleak, i feel guilty, then angry, i can
cope on a normal day but for the first time my safety valve poped.
 
  • #7
Evo
Mentor
23,144
2,702
wolram said:
Good advice, but when 1,2,3 etc are all equally important,and opperators
get sent home, if things are looking bleak, i feel guilty, then angry, i can
cope on a normal day but for the first time my safety valve poped.
Just remember there is a limit to what you or any other person can do.

If all are equally important, handle them in the order they arrived. If that's not possible, perhaps one looks like it may be easier to resolve than another, do that one first so at least one problem is fixed. The important thing is that you remain authoritative yet appear understanding.

I'm often put in this position by clients whose companies lose business if their network is down. It can literally destroy them. It is stressful.

Hands wolram a glass of sherry. :smile:
 
Last edited:
  • #8
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
You are all just so understanding, thanks for that sherry Evo, i know where
to come now when i have a dark day, not that i expect another thanks.
 
  • #9
FredGarvin
Science Advisor
5,066
8
wolram said:
Good advice, but when 1,2,3 etc are all equally important,and opperators
get sent home, if things are looking bleak, i feel guilty, then angry, i can
cope on a normal day but for the first time my safety valve poped.
Production sucks. When I was there, the person that yelled the loudest and used the most F-bombs won.

It is indeed a learned skill, but you simply must let them vent and rant and then go about your business. DON'T let them guilt you into thinking that production is stopping because of something you did. Most of the times you are the one they need to fix someone else's screw up.

I will say that never going off back at them is a bad thing. Like with children, you need to set boundaries with these people to let them know how far they can push you. If you don't go off on them OCCASIONALLY, they'll keep piling crap on you until you end up with an ulcer or worse.

Did I mention that I hated production? Long live R&D!
 
  • #10
brewnog
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,711
7
FredGarvin said:
Did I mention that I hated production? Long live R&D!

My only experience with production was while I was supposed to be doing R&D, but the maintenance department had gone to pot, and I was often the most qualified engineer (ha!) on site to deal with the regular breakdowns.

My minimal experience taught me two things:

- Firstly, learn how to prioritise, and don't be afraid to say "no" to an impossible task (like trying to avoid £200k worth of steel being ruined in the furnaces while the forge was cacked).

- Secondly, sack production off, R&D is the way forwards! :smile:
 
  • #11
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
brewnog said:
My only experience with production was while I was supposed to be doing R&D, but the maintenance department had gone to pot, and I was often the most qualified engineer (ha!) on site to deal with the regular breakdowns.

My minimal experience taught me two things:

- Firstly, learn how to prioritise, and don't be afraid to say "no" to an impossible task (like trying to avoid £200k worth of steel being ruined in the furnaces while the forge was cacked).

- Secondly, sack production off, R&D is the way forwards! :smile:
Oh my gawd, it was R&D that caused some of my head aches, they
recomended the machinery
 
  • #12
FredGarvin
Science Advisor
5,066
8
brewnog said:
My only experience with production was while I was supposed to be doing R&D, but the maintenance department had gone to pot, and I was often the most qualified engineer (ha!) on site to deal with the regular breakdowns.

My minimal experience taught me two things:

- Firstly, learn how to prioritise, and don't be afraid to say "no" to an impossible task (like trying to avoid £200k worth of steel being ruined in the furnaces while the forge was cacked).

- Secondly, sack production off, R&D is the way forwards! :smile:
Brews gets a HOO-RAH for that one!
 
  • #13
FredGarvin
Science Advisor
5,066
8
wolram said:
Oh my gawd, it was R&D that caused some of my head aches, they
recomended the machinery
Now come on.....is that the full story here? Do share.
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
wolram said:
Ivan, do you count to 10 or something, or ignore the shouts from above?
I guess that I've learned to emotionally disconnect from the situation. One of my largest customers has a very long history with their customers. When I first show up at their customer sites, it's not unusual to get reamed for everything done wrong by my customer since 1929. As far as they're concerned, it was all my fault! Half the time they don't even know that I'm a contractor and not an employee. The first time that I showed up at a Frito plant, without even saying hello, the manager I met just started yelling at me and continued for about a half hour. So, I just smile and act very concerned, shake my head, "tsk tsk tsk", "I'm soooo sorry...yes that's terrible...I understand...I'll make sure that we take care of that problem..." The same attitude applies when the there are problems. I do the best I can. That will have to be good enough.
 
  • #15
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
FredGarvin said:
I will say that never going off back at them is a bad thing. Like with children, you need to set boundaries with these people to let them know how far they can push you. If you don't go off on them OCCASIONALLY, they'll keep piling crap on you until you end up with an ulcer or worse.
All good advice here from folks. Regarding the shouting from above, sometimes just calmly (as calmly as you can under the circumstances) telling them, "Your shouting isn't going to help get the job done any faster; give me a few minutes to think about the best way to fix this." Then go spend a few minutes sticking pins in the voodoo doll of the person doing the shouting, or the one who cause the problem in the first place. :biggrin:
 
  • #16
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
Moonbear said:
All good advice here from folks. Regarding the shouting from above, sometimes just calmly (as calmly as you can under the circumstances) telling them, "Your shouting isn't going to help get the job done any faster; give me a few minutes to think about the best way to fix this." Then go spend a few minutes sticking pins in the voodoo doll of the person doing the shouting, or the one who cause the problem in the first place. :biggrin:
I think you are a hoot Moonbear, that is just so the way i want to go.
 
  • #17
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
Aren't you supposed to just picture them naked? :biggrin:
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
There is another side of the yelling thing as well. A very smart salesman taught me this. Sometimes it is best to just listen and take it. Everyone has bad days, and production managers esp have a tremendous stress levels. If you just listen and don't do anything to make it worse, often, later they will feel so bad about the unfair abuse that they end up feeling indebted to you. But, unfortunately some people just yell a lot.
 
  • #19
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
honestrosewater said:
Aren't you supposed to just picture them naked? :biggrin:
HRWWB, you are just so wiked, but picturing little bits of them rolling down
the drain aint so bad.
:biggrin:
 

Related Threads on Keeping cool

Replies
22
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
5K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
25
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
23
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
1K
Top